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Gaga For Games

Our house has gone nuts for the Olympics.

And it’s not just because of Shaun White, Lindsey Vonn and Apolo Ohno.

This afternoon I got hooked on the men’s 30km pursuit, a cross-country ski race that I didn’t even know existed until I turned on the TV. But the drama of the breakaway by Swede Johan Olsson and the ultimate victory by his teammate, Marcus Hellner, was tough to resist.

Yes, a lot of the events are on broadcast after the fact. And I often know the results from the Web well before I sit down to watch. But who cares? Seeing Vonn win the downhill on an insanely steep and winding course is just a great story.

We’ve been into it since the opening ceremony, and the games are creeping into other parts of our lives. Last Sunday, A. and I went up to the Sierra for a little sledding (the slopes near the Valero at Cisco Grove are pretty sweet) and snowtubing (anything at Soda Springs is great for kids). As we enjoyed the sunny day and the snow, it was hard not to think about the Olympics and imagine ourselves as competitors. Snowtubers at the games? You never know. If curling can become an event, I think snowtubing has a strong chance.

A. and I dropped by the library today and he quickly snagged a couple books on snowboarding. Who would have thought snowboarding would make a boy want to read? A. is a big fan of White, and can’t wait to take a lesson. I told him as soon as he masters his RipStik — a crazy skateboard-like thing he got for Christmas — then we’ll talk about snowboarding.

In the meantime, we’ll keep watching. We’ve been bleary-eyed during the day after staying up too late to watch the night coverage. We love the good guys, like White, the villains, like Russian skater Yevgeny Plushenko, and the could-have-beens, like French downhiller Marion Rolland, who crashed right after leaving the starting gate.

The tough part will be March 1, the day after the games end. What will we do then?


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